Marie-Claire’s practice encompasses litigation and advisory work in connection with contentious probate, the construction of wills, rectification of wills, proprietary estoppel/constructive trust claims in relation to property disposed of by wills, mutual wills and the administration of estates. She also advises on tax issues where they arise in these contexts.
She has considerable experience of applications for provision under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependents) Act 1975 and has recently been involved in claims involving a retired adult son, a disabled daughter, a widow, a co-habitee, a separated wife, a third wife and a disabled grandson.
She is praised by clients both for the effort and commitment she puts into all her cases and for the importance she attaches to communicating well with clients at every stage of the case.
She excels in the cut and thrust of advocacy in court, particularly witness actions where her skill at cross-examining witnesses and her mastery of the legal arguments and the trial bundles ensure that her clients feel that she has done everything possible to fight their corner.
In her advisory work she relishes complex legal questions, but ensures that her advice is practical, sensible, focused on the client’s commercial objectives and easy to understand.
Clients commend her user-friendly approach and the fact that she is a good team-player, always prepared to help out with all aspects of the preparation of the case when time or resources are tight.
Other work includes whether wills were mutual wills and the implication of s2 of the LP(MP) Act 1989; whether a will could be challenged on the grounds of lack of capacity, want of knowledge and approval and undue influence and whether a settlement was in the interests of a minor child beneficiary of the deceased’s estate.